Hugh Dancy says Michelle Dockery ‘helped him’ when he joined Downton Abbey cast

Hugh Dancy has told of the help he received from his new co-star when he joined the cast of Downton Abbey.

The 46-year-old actor stars in the new film Downton Abbey: A New Era. It is the second film that follows on from the hit ITV period drama, picking up events from where the first 2019 film ended.

The Express reports that Hugh, who plays film director Jack Barber, revealed that despite joining the cast he has never watched a single episode of Downton.

“I’ve got 4,000 TV shows backed up in the library ready to watch, so I’ve only seen snippets of Downton,” he told the Radio Times.

“I was reading the script and about three times per page I’d have to dip into the fan pages online and look up Mr Carson or whatever and get the entire backstory. It took me four hours to read the script that way!” he added.

The actor, who has two children with wife and Homeland star Claire Danes, says he was thankful to his co-star Michelle Dockery for taking him under her wing when he joined the Downton cast and making sure he didn’t feel like an “outsider”.

“Michelle helped me navigate everything,” he said. Michelle, who plays Lady Mary Crawley, flirts with Hugh’s character Jack in the upcoming film – despite being married to Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode).

In the latest behind-the-scenes YouTube episode for the new movie, Michelle teased what was in store for her character.

The Downton Abbey star said: “Mary has come into her own and is really running the house and she’s a businesswoman. What’s interesting is that Mary and Violet sort of have this parallel story.”

Fans will know from the new film’s trailers that Lady Violet has been left a villa in France by what appears to be a former lover.

Michelle added: “Mary’s having her own little flirtation with Hugh Dancy’s character.”

In another new clip, she admits: “Love is a novel, not a short story, full of plot twists along the way.”

A scene of the two alone at the cinema is shown before Dancy says to her: “You do know that I’m completely mad about you?”

Downton Abbey: A New Era is out in cinemas from April 29.

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Hugh Dancy says Michelle Dockery ‘helped him’ when he joined Downton Abbey cast